The Bike Lane Lowdown: What is a “bike box’? | Allen and Allen

The Bike Lane Lowdown: What is a “bike box’?

What is a bike box? It’s an added feature for bike lanes, soon to be appropriated onto Virginia roadways. And it starts with Blacksburg.

Bike trails in Central Virginia

What do bike boxes do?

Bike boxes are placed at the head of a traffic lane at a signalized intersection. They serve as a designated spot for cyclists. Bicyclists will await the traffic signal ahead of the cars where they will be in plain view.

How can I identify a bike box?

Per the below photo, city planners have rendered the design. Bike boxes are shown as green rectangular-shaped spaces painted on the portion of a lane just before the lane passes through the intersection and traffic light.

bike box

Why are bike boxes being implemented?

A bike box is designed to reduce conflicts between cyclists and motorists, according to the project’s page. The goal is to reduce, if not prevent, crashes between right-turning vehicles and cyclists passing through an intersection. “Bike boxes also increase visibility and awareness and help people bicycling to clear an intersection more quickly,” the site reads.

Where will these bike boxes be implemented?

In Blacksburg, these bike boxes will be implemented in the Prices Fork and Tom’s Creek areas.

what is a bike box

Instructions for motorists:

  • Stop behind the bike box for a yellow or red signal. Don’t turn right on red if you have to cross the bike box.
  • When the signal turns green, do not pass people on bikes while in the intersection.
  • Watch for people on bikes around you, especially in front of you and to your right.
  • If the light is green as you are approaching, move through the intersection as usual.

Instructions for cyclists:

Enter the bike box from the approaching bike lane at a yellow or red signal. Stop before the crosswalk.

  • Position yourself in the appropriate lane depending on the direction you are traveling.
  • When the signal turns green, proceed through the intersection as usual; be aware of right-turning vehicles.
  • If the light is green as you are approaching, move through the intersection as usual.

We are in hopes that these new measures will keep both cyclists and motorists safer on the roads. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, call Allen & Allen today for a free consultation at 866-388-1307.